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small outdoor aviary recommendations
Posted: 11 August 2007 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I am interested in a small outdoor aviary and would love advice.

  The dilemma is that my birds range in size from a lovebird to a military macaw.  Aside from the fact that I would obviously have to rotate them through the aviary so no one would get hurt, I am at a loss about sizing bar sizing/spacing.  Something small with closely-enough spaced bars for the lovebird would probably be an afternoon snack for the macaw, while macaw-sized bars have large openings through which the lovebird could readily climb.  The conure could probably go either way…

Any suggestions?

Nancy Sullivan

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Posted: 11 August 2007 08:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Easiest outdoor aviary is made with less expensive wire—1/2 inch by 1” openings—if price is no consideration, then English Twilweld wire with 1/2 inch by three inch openings is stronger with better galvanizing. Many California businesses sell it. 12 gauge . Sometimes 14 gauge will work with pet macaws who do not chew on wire. U.S. wire would be 1 inch by 1 inch openings and stronger for the cost. Make SURE you wash down the entire constructed cage with a strong vinegar solution prior to inserting the birds to take off any zinc corrosion and stabilize the wire. But most day play cages are fine if loaded with cut branches and greenery that draws the attention of the birds so they do not focus on wires. Large enough space will allow macaws to interact with small birds, especially if the lovebirds or cockatiels are with flight and can move around quickly. By and large most macaws leave tiny birds alone as long as there are several feeding stations to provide for all occupants. A lot depends on your birds and whether you have noticed competition and jealousy’s between them. The more fresh boughs you insert into a cage, the more security will be there for the smaller parrots and the less the large birds will be able to access tiny cloistered spaces. We like hexagon structures because they provide large flight space with smaller lumber lengths for building. 8’x8’x8’ offers a near 14 foot day /play enclosure. cool smile  cool smile  cool smile

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Posted: 13 August 2007 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi Nancy, why not build 2?  With the smaller birds I would recommend 1/2"X1/2” mesh and 1"X1” for the larger birds.  Around 20 guage works for the smallest of birds and about 16 guage works fine for others (Amazons, Greys).  Right now we have a Catalina Macaw awaiting adoption in an aviary with 11 guage which come to find out is a bit overkill.  But it’s very strong! 

If wild animals such as snakes and racoons are a concern, I would highly suggest screening on top of the mesh (the side away from the birds of course) with a heavy duty porch screening. 

Here are a few pictures of the aviaries we have been building…

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Matt Smith
The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
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Posted: 13 August 2007 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Good point from Matt. What are the varmints that you have to worry about in your area? Of course many are not day predators and hence will not affect a play cage with birds taken in during the night. One thing I cannot understand is why so many day play cages are built right up next to trees and bushes and shrubs with none of them growing inside. We like to plan our aviaries around a couple of living trees or plants or palms or such so the birds do not have to stare at greenery but can sample it right off the limb. cool smile  cool smile  cool smile

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Posted: 14 August 2007 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Around here probably the biggest threat would be racoons and black (rat) snakes which can grow quite large.  I have seen about a 6’ long one around here.  You’re right about enclosing the surrounding vegetation inside the aviary itself, making sure it is safe, you can just build the aviary around the greenery!  Here is a closer picture of an aviary that we enclosed 3 small poplar trees inside of.  Of course much of the trees have been chewed up but they’re still growing!

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The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
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Posted: 14 August 2007 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks!

You have made really good suggestions.

Looks like the idea is to put the bird fencing material inside the structure of the aviary, then any varmint-proffing wire on the outside, so they are separated by a few inches.

We also have snakes and raccoons.  Generally I welcome the snakes- fewer mice, etc.- but not in my aviary.

One question- some websites recommend solid flooring you can hose out, but it is pretty hard to reconcile that with having planted trees, etc.  How do you protect the birds from anything that can come up underneath, keep the aviary clean and still have trees?

Nancy

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Posted: 14 August 2007 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Regarding the floor of the aviaries, we put down 1/2"X1/2” wire mesh underneath about 6 inches of organic mulch.  This prevents critters from digging under to the inside.  This also allows trees to grow naturally in there and allows waste (bird poop, small food items) to naturally settle into the ground and allows the proper micro-organisms to do their job of breaking down waste.  Larger food pieces should be picked up consistently so the birds don’t go back down for a snack at a later date.  The mulch should be turned with a rake every week to ensure proper aeration and breakdown of small waste.  Others use different floor methods but this is what works best for us here. 

Regarding the mesh, I would recommend this company that we use:  http://www.twpinc.com/ They offer a great welded stainless steel mesh which we used for our most recent aviary, a 20’X8’X12’ for conures/quakers.  They also ship via UPS.

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The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
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Posted: 14 August 2007 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks again, very helpful link to supplier of stainless mesh.

Assuming this aviary is just for play use, not a fulltime cage, and would contain lots of interesting things to cheq, explore, etc., what diameter wire would you recommend for a military macaw, as they have several different gauges?  He doesn’t chew on cage bars, but can definitely go through wood like a buzz saw.

Nancy

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Posted: 14 August 2007 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I would recommend about a 14 guage for a military.  Others agree?

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The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
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Posted: 14 August 2007 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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OK, that is the same as .064 diameter wire, which your recommended site obviously has.

I don’t need to put SS on the floor under mulch, do I?


Nancy

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Posted: 14 August 2007 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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No, I would suggest Galvanized under the floor material and save your cost for ss mesh you will use for the walls and ceiling.

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Matt Smith
The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary
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Posted: 28 September 2008 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Hi All, I realize this thread is a year old but hopefully I can still ask questions on it…..........

I have a 1yr old U2 and a 3 yr old CAG and would like to build an outdoor aviary for them to play in during the day (they would always come in to sleep and would likely take turns in the outdoor aviary as I don’t trust them alone together). We live in Texas so they will have most of the year to enjoy this outdoor world.

My question is this: The U2 has a powerfull and unique beak structure that can quickly demolish wood. With this in mind I’m hesitant to use wood for the structure support. Should I brave the wood and wrap it in SS guage or should I use a less attractive PVC pipe or metal?

Thanks for any input,
Beth

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Posted: 15 March 2010 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I am from Kolkata, India and am planning a cage (6ft length x 3ft high x 28inches wide for Sun Conure babies (about 12weeks). Can I keep 2 pairs (DNA Sexed) in this cage. If not, what cage size is correct for 2 or 3 pairs.

Presently I have a pair of Normal Red Rump Parakeets in a 6ft x 2ft x 2ft cage, which have just had a male baby (23 day old). Would you advise to pair this baby with a Lutino female?

I will appreciate your response.

Regards,
Suvransu Mitra
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Posted: 17 March 2010 02:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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sun conure babies can be kept together until the birds pair up and begin to reach puberty after which time, most conures will begin to spat and some likely will be picked on by more dominant birds.

the cage you speak of is too small for more than one pair of birds and in fact is small for even one. eight feet would be minimum and four feet wide, height is not as important as suns will always stay near the top of the cage when given a choice.  why not build larger cages now and the health and well being of your suns will benefit greatly? cool smile

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Posted: 09 March 2011 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Nancy Sullivan - 14 August 2007 08:15 AM

Thanks!

You have made really good suggestions.

Looks like the idea is to put the bird fencing material inside the structure of the aviary, then any varmint-proffing wire on the outside, so they are separated by a few inches.

We also have snakes and raccoons.  Generally I welcome the snakes- fewer mice, etc.- but not in my aviary.

One question- some websites recommend solid flooring you can hose out, but it is pretty hard to reconcile that with having planted trees, etc.  How do you protect the birds from anything that can come up underneath, keep the aviary clean and still have trees?

Nancy

I agree. I put the fencing inside the aviary, separated by just a few inches. Did the trick for me.

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Posted: 24 August 2011 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Matt Smith - 13 August 2007 07:55 PM

Hi Nancy, why not build 2?  With the smaller birds I would recommend 1/2"X1/2” mesh and 1"X1” for the larger birds.  Around 20 guage works for the smallest of birds and about 16 guage works fine for others (Amazons, Greys).  Right now we have a Catalina Macaw awaiting adoption in an aviary with 11 guage which come to find out is a bit overkill.  But it’s very strong! 

If wild animals such as snakes and racoons are a concern, I would highly suggest screening on top of the mesh (the side away from the birds of course) with a heavy duty porch screening. 

Here are a few pictures of the aviaries we have been building…

those aviary’s are perfect for my backyard.  would there be any plans available?

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